The Best Penalty Takers in Premier League History - Ranked

04 June 2020 04:48

Penalties are a real skill. To some, they're a pressure-laden chance to humiliate yourself, but for others, they're the easiest way to score a goal.


The Premier League has seen plenty of players who have specialised in taking penalties. If your team is feeling the pressure and needs a goal, you'd want one of these guys stepping up to the plate.


Here are the 20 best penalty takers in Premier League history.



20. Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta celebrates

During his time in England with both Everton and Arsenal, Mikel Arteta built up a reputation as a deadly finisher from the spot.

He netted ten for the Toffees before heading to Arsenal to score another seven, missing just one at each of his two clubs.


19. Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry celebrates scoring

Reliable in every sense of the word, not only is Gareth Barry the all-time leading appearance maker in the Premier League, but he's up there with the best when it comes to penalties as well.

As Aston Villa's star from the spot, Barry fired home 18 penalties and missed just three across his nine years with the club.


18. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney scores a goal

Wayne Rooney may not have the greatest conversion rate from penalties - he scored 23 and missed ten during his time in the top flight - but that does not harm his reputation.

He's Manchester United's top-scoring penalty taker of all time, and given the calibre of player he's up against in those rankings, that's a pretty good achievement.


17. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United

The Cristiano Ronaldo we saw in England didn't get the chance to take many penalties. He scored 11 and missed two before departing for Real Madrid, but his record after leaving Manchester United proves his status as an all-time great.

With well over 100 penalties scored in his career, Ronaldo is one of the most reliable scorers you're ever likely to find. Had he stayed in England for longer, he'd be far higher on this list.


16. Ruud van Nistelrooy

Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy could score goals from anywhere. He managed 95 goals in the Premier League, and 18 of those came from the penalty spot.

The Dutchman missed just four, three of which came in the 2003/04 campaign. Rough year.


15. Harry Kane

Harry Kane

We all know about Harry Kane's ability to score goals. The Englishman is one of the most deadly finishers we've ever seen, and his record from penalties is evidence of that.

Having already hit 20 converted penalties, Kane is creeping his way towards the top of the all-time standings. If he keeps up this kind of pace, he might just make the top spot his own.


14. Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines

A fantasy team legend, Leighton Baines was a core part to any player's success a few years ago because of his reputation as a penalty specialist.

He doesn't get many opportunities these days as he spends most of his time on the bench, but Baines is the kind of player you'd sub on just so he could score in a shoot-out. An anti-Tim Krul, if you will.


13. Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona of Manchester United in 1993

For many players, penalties are more about power than accuracy. However, for Eric Cantona, it was the other way around.

The Frenchman loved side-footing his penalties into whichever corner the goalkeeper didn't dive towards, and it's a technique which saw him finish his time in England with a record of 14 goals and two misses.


12. David Unsworth

David Unsworth

Everton have always had a good supply of penalty-scoring left-backs. Before Baines, it was David Unsworth who was firing in the goals.

He managed 20, 17 of which came for Everton. Unsworth added two for Portsmouth and one for Wigan Athletic before calling time on his career in 2009.


11. Luka Milivojevic

Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace

The fact that defensive midfielder Luka Milivojević has been one of Crystal Palace's top scorers since he joined in 2017 tells you two things: Palace get a whole load of penalties and Milivojević nearly always scores them.

His goals have won the Eagles countless points in recent years, proving that the Serb simply does not feel pressure.


10. Mark Noble

Mark Noble celebrates scoring

Captain Fantastic. Mark Noble has been on penalty duty at West Ham United ever since the 2007/08 season, and given his outstanding record from the spot, it's not hard to see why. The midfielder boasts one of the highest tallies in Premier League history.

We've seen the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautović try and claim penalties over the years, but Noble has fought off all challengers thus far.


9. Danny Murphy

Danny Murphy takes a penalty

One of the most quietly efficient scorers we've ever seen, Danny Murphy missed just one of his 19 penalty attempts in the Premier League.

That one miss came against Manchester City in 2008, but it ended up alright as Murphy scored the rebound anyway and led his Fulham side to a shock 3-2 win.


8. Julian Dicks

Julian Dicks of West Ham United

Julian Dicks' secret to scoring penalties was simply to hit the ball so hard that goalkeepers wouldn't physically be able to stop it.

The man known as 'The Terminator' would leave you feeling as though the net was about to be torn out of the ground. You could have had ten goalkeepers on the line and none of them would have been able to stop Dicks.


7. Gary McAllister

Gary McAllister of Coventry City

Set pieces were pretty much a guaranteed goal when Gary McAllister was around. He took 19 penalties in the Premier League and missed just once.

Coventry City were the main beneficiaries of his skill, but Leeds United and even Liverpool got to experience it before the Scot hung up his boots.


6. Sergio Agüero

Sergio Aguero celebrates

You don't get the honour of being the highest-scoring foreign player in Premier League history if you're not cool under pressure. Fortunately for Sergio Agüero, he is.

The City man can score from 12 yards even with an army of defenders in front of him, so giving him a free shot on goal is suicide. You might as well just start walking back to the centre circle.


5. Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard scores against Napoli

Steven Gerrard never shied away from responsibility. He wanted to be the man who Liverpool turned to when they were under pressure, and that's why he thrived as a penalty taker.

The former midfielder banged home 32 of his 39 penalties during his time in the English top flight and did not miss at all between December 2006 and May 2009 in any competition.


4. Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry celebrates

As one of the greatest players in Premier League history, Thierry Henry's presence so high on this list should come as no surprise. He netted 23 during his time at Arsenal and missed just twice.

He wisely gave that atrocious penalty to Robert Pires, whose fluffed effort has gone down in history as probably the worst penalty of all time.


3. Frank Lampard

Chelsea's Frank Lampard celebrates

Frank Lampard's tally of 43 converted penalties is good enough for second on the all-time penalty scoring charts, and he managed that tally in just 50 attempts.

Those goals helped Lampard become Chelsea's all-time top scorer, managing a whopping 210 goals from midfield during his 13 years at Stamford Bridge.


The question is: would Lampard still be taking Chelsea's penalties today? Click here to find out.


2. Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer celebrates

The Premier League's all-time top scorer just so happens to be the all-time penalty leader as well. Alan Shearer was about as close to a guaranteed goal as you'll ever find.

He managed a huge 56 goals from 67 efforts (a record in itself), and his records look set to stand for a little while longer as no current player is even close to his numbers.


1. Matt Le Tissier

Matt Le Tissier of Southampton

Matt Le Tissier missed just one of his 24 penalties in the Premier League.

Actually, scratch that.

Matt Le Tissier missed just one of the 54 penalties he took during his entire professional career.

Whenever the Southampton legend stepped up to the spot, you just knew it was a goal. Incapable of feeling pressure, Le Tissier would just plant the ball in the side netting time and time again.

The man who destroyed his unbeaten streak was Mark Crossley, whose reputation as a penalty specialist proved too much for Le Tissier to handle in 1993.



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Source: 90min